By Ian Bush
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. (CBS) — Software giant SAP, based in Delaware County, Pa., is welcoming five new employees — people on the autism spectrum.
It’s part of the Newtown Square company’s push to train and hire more than 600 such workers by the end of the decade.
“When you give someone a shot of employment who’s never had a shot before, you change their life,” noted Delaware governor Jack Markell.
Markell says he hopes other firms follow the example of what SAP America president Rodolpho Cardenuto says is an idea sparked by the company’s rank-and-file.
“Sometimes you have the top-down mandate, but if you don’t have the passion of the employees, they don’t endure,” Cardenuto said. “And this one, I think, from the bottom up, you have the passion of the employees.”
SAP says many on the autism spectrum have extreme attention to detail and low tolerance for mistakes — making them a good fit for a software company, and for the several million jobs said to be available in science, tech, engineering, and math (“STEM”) fields.